Monday, 5 March 2012

Making 'moor' progress...

Under clear skies and with light winds, we recovered four of our six moorings today. These moorings, which contain instruments at a variety of different depth levels measuring current speed, pressure, temperature and salinity, were deployed on the UK2 DIMES Cruise in December 2010 and have collected 14 months of data. The aim of the experiment is to investigate mixing and internal wave breaking processes over a sea-floor rise close to the Subantarctic Front.

Mooring operations on the aft deck

Disassembling and storing buoyancy spheres
Mick and Steve at work with the crane

A typical mooring recovery involves ranging the mooring to find out its exact location, then acoustically releasing the instruments and mooring wire from its anchor on the seabed. The mooring then drifts to the surface and the ship is positioned to allow recovery on the aft deck. The mooring line is then slowly hauled onboard ship and the buoyancy and instruments removed from it.

To complement this work, we aim to complete a VMP and tow-yo CTD overnight tonight, before recovering the final two moorings tomorrow. Many thanks to Uriel for the recovery photos.

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